Virginia Highland is an area with a vibrant bar and restaurant scene. On North Highland and Virginia avenues, young locals sip coffee and cocktails in quirky cafes and shop for organic tea and funky homeware. The landmark Plaza Theatre screens indie films. Green spaces include Orme Park, which runs along Clear Creek and has a playground, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
An affluent neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, founded in the early 20th century as a streetcar suburb. It is named after the intersection of Virginia Avenue and North Highland Avenue, the heart of its trendy retail district at the center of the neighborhood. The neighborhood is famous for its bungalows and other historic houses from the 1910s to the 1930s. It has become a destination for people across Atlanta with its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and shops as well as for the Summerfest festival, annual Tour of Homes and other events.
In 2011 readers of Creative Loafing voted Virginia–Highland "Best Overall Neighborhood." In June 2011, Atlanta Magazine designated Virginia Highland "favorite neighborhood overall". In 2012 readers of Creative Loafing voted VaHi "Best Walkable Neighborhood". In 2020, Southern Living editors named Virginia–Highland number 4 on their “The South’s Best Neighborhoods” list.
Newspaper articles from the early 1920s refer to the "Virginia Highland" section of Atlanta about the area around the intersection of Virginia and Highland avenues. Later in the 1920s, southeast of this intersection, the "Virginia Highlands" (with an "s") subdivision was built. However, neither term appeared again in the press until the 1970s.
During the revolt against the construction of the I-485 freeway through Morningside and what is now Virginia–Highland, a pro-highway group called themselves the "Highland–Virginia Civic Association", claiming to speak for the neighborhood. When Joe Drolet and other residents formed a group to oppose the highway in Fall 1971, they chose the name "Virginia–Highland Civic Association". With the victory of the anti-highway forces, the Virginia–Highland name stuck and the press started to use it to refer to the entire neighborhood between Amsterdam, Ponce, Piedmont Park and Druid Hills.
Around Atlanta, "Virginia–Highland", "Virginia Highlands" and "the Highlands" are all commonly heard. However, "Virginia–Highland" is the official name of the neighborhood. The other terms are included in some business names but are technically incorrect.
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